LAMB and beef producers were among Western Australian food and beverage suppliers who connected buyers from across the country at the inaugural Meet the Buyer exhibition in Perth today.
The exhibition provided a platform for local producers to meet face-to-face with buyers and industry to grow their business and examine new markets for their products.
More than 70 businesses from across WA took part in the event – an initiative of the state’s Buy West Eat Best food and beverage labelling program, supported by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).
DPIRD Industry and Economic Development Deputy Director General, Liam O’Connell, said Meet the Buyer had been a great success in creating a forum that brought buyers and potential WA agrifood and beverage suppliers together.
“A good representation of buyers, distributors, educators, chefs and sommeliers, as well as food service and hospitality businesses attended the exhibition.
“Large companies were there, including Woolworths, Coles, Metcash IGA, Farmer Jacks, Crown, MBL Foods and Pan Pacific, as well as niche independent buyers – all looking to add WA ingredients and groceries to retail shelves, menu and beverage lists,” he said.
“More than 450 brands were on offer, from locally grown beef and lamb, to a selection of premium seafood, seasonal fruit and vegetables, honey, dairy products and olive oils.
“Value added groceries were also showcased, including chilli sauces, black garlic, pickled watermelon and artisan bakery goods as well as regional wines, craft beers and distillery spirits.”
Mr O’Connell said the Meet the Buyer exhibition also paved a pathway for buyers and suppliers to examine how they could collaborate more closely and work across the supply chain to better understand different market channels.
“Events like Meet the Buyer help businesses to realise their growth potential and shine a spotlight on the fantastic array of fresh and season produce Western Australia has to offer,” he said.
“Today’s forum celebrated the diversity, quality, resilience and innovation that drives WA’s food and beverage producers.”
Buy West East Best has championed the benefits of buying local since 2008, providing support to the State’s important agriculture, fisheries, food and beverage industries.
WA’s food and beverage industry is valued at $7.1 million, with more than 1300 food and beverage businesses across the state.
DPIRD recently opened round three of the Agrifood and Beverage Voucher Program, which provides access to expert advice to support businesses to build competitiveness and export preparedness.
For more information about Buy West Eat Best initiatives visit buywesteatbest.org.au, while more information on the Agrifood and Beverage Voucher Program can be found at agric.wa.gov.au/AFBvoucherprogram.